Wits granted court order against protesting students

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Johannesburg - Wits University has been granted a court order against a group of students who have been disrupting the academic programme of the institution for the past three days.

The court order restrains students from disrupting the normal activities, harassing, intimidating and causing damage to the property of the university, its staff or students.

"In effect, this means that should the students continue to disrupt the academic programme, they can be arrested and held in contempt of court," university spokesperson, Shirona Patel, said in a statement.

Patel believes that this step was necessary in order to protect the rights of those staff and students who are committed to teaching and learning.

Earlier this week, students protesting against a proposed hike in fees for 2010, upended rubbish bins, disrupted lectures and prevented motorists from entering the campus.

In the statement, the university reiterated that the disruption of classes was contrary to the values of the university and would not be tolerated.

Patel said the university would institute disciplinary action against all students who have been identified in contravening the university's rules.

Members of the Wits Senior Executive Team will continue talks with representatives of the protesting student group. They will discuss the points raised in a memorandum handed to management on Tuesday.